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Korea plans World's biggest golf complex

The world's largest golf course with as many as 540 holes will be built in South Korea's western coast, the government of North Jeolla province said Tuesday.

The provincial government said it will push to construct the mammoth 540-hole golf course on a western-coast reclaimed land in the Saemangeum area, about 280 kilometers south of Seoul.

At present, the world's largest golf course is the 180-hole Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China.

"The Saemangeum golf course will be built in stages on a 26.4-million-square-meter lot, starting in 2006 when the construction of a tide embankment is completed there," said an official at the provincial government.

"Private investors will be invited to participate in the Saemangeum development project, while the provincial and central governments are now fine-tuning its details," said the official.

The unprecedented golf-course project, if completed, will create thousands of jobs and boost government tax revenues, he said, estimating the number of visitors to the Saemangeum area to rise to 21 million annually by 2015.

"Along with the 540-hole course, a golf academy, hotels and other leisure facilities will be built, targeting the rapidly growing golf population at home and in neighbor countries, like China," said the official.

He noted the Saemangeum golf course the size of 2,444 football fields will be very competitive, as it will be built on a reclaimed land.

Some industry watchers, however, warned that the ultra-large golf course project may run into fierce opposition from the existing golf ranges in the Jeolla areas.

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